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Breaking Her Fall


Breaking Her Fall Cover

ISBN13: 9780156029698
ISBN10: 0156029693
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Reading Group Guide

Q> In what way does Washington, D.C., form a meaningful backdrop for the novel? How do class hierarchies affect the plot? What observations does Tucker make about suburban versus commercial aspects of his community? Q> Are money and sex equally powerful in Breaking Her Fall? In what way do finances influence Tucker's power struggle with Kat's mother? Q> In your opinion, what motivated Kat's actions at the party? Who appears to be ultimately responsible for what happened? How would you have responded to the late-night call from John Fogarty? Q> How does Kat's heartache compare to that of the adults in her world? Are her coping skills much different from theirs? Does Kat mirror or defy her parents' example? Q> How would you characterize Lily's marriage? Why is Tucker more attracted to her than to Christine? Q> Is Tucker's relationship with Kat typical of most fathers and daughters? Does Tucker use a different approach in raising his son? Does Lily's parenting style reflect gender distinctions in a child's upbringing, or are these distinctions shaped more by environment? Q> Discuss the concept of injury and harm as portrayed in this novel. What (or who) are the truly harmful forces in the characters' lives? Do you consider Kat to be a victim of rape? What is the best way to ensure the sense of security Tucker craves? Q> How do the novel's characters define justice and morality? What seems to drive their sense of ethics? Q> When Tucker went to Jed's house, was he trying to rescue his daughter or control her (or both)? Will he ever be comfortable with the notion of his daughter's sexuality? Q> Why might the author have chosen oral sex as the basis for Kat's upheaval rather than another form of sexual behavior? Do you define it as "real" sex? Q> What is the significance of Lily's father in Breaking Her Fall? Did he impart any of the same attitudes to Lily that Tucker tries to evoke in Kat? Does Tucker's relationship to his own parents, particularly his mother, offer any insight into the generation by which he and Lily were raised? Q> Do you perceive Jed as a villain or a victim? Do you predict any transformation in his father's personality after this incident? Would Jed and Abby have been successful parents? Q> How does that one night (along with its resolution) encapsulate Kat's life with Tucker? Q> How have attitudes toward dating and sex changed since you were Kat's age? Why is fourteen a particularly charged age for girls? Q> In what way does Kat break her father's fall?

Copyright © 2004 Harcourt, Inc.

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avid book reader, March 21, 2009 (view all comments by avid book reader)
I enjoyed reading this book, but some parts seemed unbelievable. The boy, who is able to be the best soccer player on his team just one month from loosing his eye, seemed unrealistic. I think it would take a long time to adjust to the changes in perception and the soccer ball would seem more to the right or left of his vision. The ending of the book wrapped up a little too neatly for my tastes.
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Product Details

Goodwin, Stephen
Harvest Books
General Fiction
General Fiction
Domestic fiction
Washington, d. c.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
8 x 5.31 in 0.88 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Breaking Her Fall New Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156029698 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
"Breaking Her Fall is a corker-- vivid, brilliantly marbled with harmonies and textures and people vibrant with life." — Richard Bausch

Just before eleven on an ordinary summer night in Washington, D.C., Tucker Jones picks up the phone, expecting to hear that his teenage daughter, Kat, is back from the movies. But the caller is another parent, a man who tells Tucker that Kat was actually at a party-- and makes a shocking allegation about what happened to her there. From that moment Breaking Her Fall sweeps irresistibly forward to it s wrenching, and redemptive, conclusion.

In a blind rage, Tucker races to the party to find Kat already departed, but his full-boil interrogation of the boys still present spills over into a confrontation-- and ends with one of the boys crashing into a glass tabletop. In a second, his rage turns to remorse, and he soon finds himself under arrest. Tucker could easily lose his home and his business, but he is most concerned about losing his daughter.

Stephen Goodwin writes with insight and rare power about the way that passion rearranges lives. As Tucker and Kat and everyone around them seek to repair the damages of that night, Breaking Her Fall charts their uncommonly difficult passage from despair to reconciliation and hope with extraordinary grace.

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